Top 5 Tips For Using Analytics In Online Marketing
Online marketing is a very challenging field; evolving technology combined with changing expectations can make it difficult even for the most experienced marketer to produce results. One area that has seen a lot of growth is analytics, which offer an incredible amount of information which when used correctly, can help gain tremendous insights. As an experienced website development company, we would like to share our Top 5 Tips for using Analytics in Online Marketing.
It’s not enough to just be using analytics and pouring over the data they provide; you need to consider that data in the right light to make the most of it.
After all, data is just that – information. The data is not something that can be argued because it just is. That is why understanding the proper way to look at that information is just as important as the facts themselves.
5 Tips for using Analytics in Online Marketing
- Review a lot of Data – The nice thing about most analytic suites is that they provide you with an incredible amount of data to use. The bad thing about most analytic suites is that they provide you with an incredible amount of data to use! Most of the time you have more data than you know what to do with. One common mistake is to just grab bits and pieces of that data to work with which tends to be short-sighted. While it takes more time and energy, you need to focus on the data as more of a whole to obtain a complete picture to ensure that you understand how your target metrics fit into the entire picture including related metrics. This can be a bit confusing at first, which is why many people tend to only focus on small sections, but in the long run you will be able to make better data driven decisions.
- Don’t make Assumptions – To assume is to make an ass out of you and me. This certainly applies to assumptions made from data. On the surface you might see multiple trends occur and assume that one has caused or influenced the other. This is not always the case and it is important to take the time to look at various metrics surrounding those data points to confirm the actual cause rather than making a possibly erroneous assumption.
- Clear your Mind – When looking at data one important key is to do it without expectations and from more of a clinical view. It is very easy to fall into a trap of taking existing data and making it fit into your expectations in a way that ends up making some sort of sense. For example, if you launched a new campaign the prior month and sales have gone up, when you review the data you are expecting that the campaign is what drove more sales and you might look for trends that support your thought. While this may be true, it could also be that other factors have driven sales and the campaign was a failure which could be more apparent when looking at all the data points without expectations.
- Ask the Right Questions – The scientific method works very well in marketing when using analytical data. The method is fairly simple; ask a question to define the problem or issue you wish to solve, do research, conduct a hypothesis and then test that hypothesis. For marketing it starts with asking the right question before you look at your data such as, “At what point are people leaving my site before making a purchase?” You then follow the data to find possibilities and then determine methods to correct that action followed by testing. This is a much more focused question compared to, “Why are people not making a purchase?” The more focused a question is, the easier it will be to find a precise answer while the more general questions will have more possible answers.
- Test before Making Changes – This is possibly the most underused tip because testing seems to be like getting shots at the doctor’s office; everyone knows it’s useful but still tries to avoid it. Analytics offer a lot of information and sometimes you are going to be exactly right with your evaluations or conclusions. Other times, you are going to be incorrect. If you make changes to your campaign or strategy without taking the time to test things out then sometimes the next set of results might be worse than before. By taking the time to test things out with small focus groups you can confirm or deny the hypothesis and possibly gather new insights. After testing you can more confidently make changes to your strategy with a more assured outcome.
The bottom line is that analytics offers a wealth of information for web designers, developers and online marketers. However that information is in itself objective while people’s perceptions are more fallible and open to biases. Our top 5 tips for using analytics in online marketing are a good reminder of things to focus on when looking at data to ensure you are making the most of that opportunity and getting a leg up on your competitors.
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